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Simon Fogal

Simon Fogal

Foodie, Chapter 81
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Mook Studios

Authorpe Works, Authorpe Rd, Leeds LS6 4JB, UK

Long before Meanwood was the ultra-cool foodie hub it is now, Meanwood was the scrappy little brother of Headingley and Chapel Allerton. Hidden away in Meanwood is a rehearsal space which holds fond memories for me, of late-night music-making sessions with I Like Trains - Mook Studios. So many bands of that time would be there, in each room, and you would get great chat around the kettle station, from learning about which van to hire for a gig down south to good old football chat. In a way, I am glad that all the incredible food places weren’t around back then - it was a place unto itself.

Bundobust

Bundobust, Mill Hill, Leeds, UK

Along with Belgrave Music Hall and Fish&, Bundobust opened up my eyes to casual dining and interesting food in general. This is one that has helped shape my life. From my first Mackerel Bap on Commercial Street with Fish& to Belgrave Music Hall opening up with two food kitchens and then a pop-up by Bundobust, Belgrave made my food world was complete.

Bundobust then opened on Mill Hill, at a time when there were lots of meat and burger restaurants opening; they were a breath of fresh air. The city was going in a great direction with Friend of Ham, Laynes and Belgrave leading an indie revolution. Bundobust had the clever idea of bringing Leeds colourful pots full of ridiculously tasty Indian street food, and matching these with the best craft beer. Genius.

Sarto

Sarto, Duke Street, Leeds, UK

My first understanding of a Flat White happened at Laynes, and through shared music chat and general Leeds gossip, I would visit Laynes...let’s say...quite often. The first event I did as Leeds Indie Food, outside of Leeds, was with Laynes at the helm (we took over Latitude Festival’s secret backstage area). Dave, Laynes’ owner, set about opening a new concept based around casual, informal space and handmade pasta; Sarto was born in Autumn 2019 and has taken-off extremely quickly. For me this is a spot that sits exactly half way from my walk home from work. I have eaten a dangerous amount of pasta so far.

Northern Monk

Northern Monk Brewing Co, Marshall Street, Leeds, UK

Northern Monk Brew Co is fast becoming one of the great UK beer institutions. They first started after converting an old flax store in Holbeck into a brewery which had an events space and kitchen. That seems such a lifetime ago, but they were so ahead of the times; both with their experimental beers and being a business with such a creative approach to connecting with their local community. It was really admirable. The refectory is home to one of the best taprooms in the North, with an ever rotating line of fresh beer; it’s the showcase for the brewery (which now has a huge site about a mile down the road).

Golden Acre Park

Golden Acre Park, Leeds, UK

Having grown up around the area, I have a few fond memories of this beautiful park area and lake. Part of the Meanwood Valley Trail, this section covers the Breary March and Adel Dam and is well worth a visit. The Cherry Orchard, Wildflower Meadow and the Heather Garden, ducks and various ponds, make it a great family day out.

Canal to Saltaire

Canal Road, Leeds, UK

We are so lucky in Leeds to host the start of this amazing canal, which stretches from Leeds to Liverpool. Steeped in industrial heritage, the stretch from Leeds to Saltaire is perfect for your hybrid or mountain bike. If you only have a road bike, you may only get as far as Kirkstall, due to the road surface.

You can find a cute little ice-cream shop enroute, or stop at a couple of the nearside pubs -Kirkstall Bridge Inn or Rodley Barge, and nearer Saltaire, The Saltaire Brewery. Plan your journey a little more and you can take in the amazing Kirkstall Abbey, too.

Ey Up. I was born in Leeds in the early eighties before a move to the East coast at the ripe old age of 7. My first memories of the city centre were from Kirkgate market, where we would do our food shopping. I returned to Leeds for university in 1999 and soon saw the city begin to change. It’s still changing today. Writing this has proved a lot more difficult than I would have liked, although I spend lots of time recommending some of the best places to eat and where to watch the best music!

I’d class myself as being fairly well-travelled. You only really realise how lucky you are when you come back to the city from a trip away. It’s such an aspirational and inspirational place right now; so many people are on a mission to make Leeds the best city it can be.

So many things to do and buildings to talk about, including the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Brudenell Social Club, The Tetley, The Corn Exchange, the glorious Hyde Park Picture House… and so many more. I was brought up in and around the Working Mens’ Clubs of Leeds too, with Harehills Working Mens’ Club being the place for a family gathering, a wedding or a wake. I can’t mention everything I love in this city, so have highlighted a few different options. One tip: in Leeds, remember to look up. There are some incredible buildings!

Mook Studios @PhilMook Facebook

Long before Meanwood was the ultra-cool foodie hub it is now, Meanwood was the scrappy little brother of Headingley and Chapel Allerton. Hidden away in Meanwood is a rehearsal space which holds fond memories for me, of late-night music-making sessions with I Like Trains - Mook Studios. So many bands of that time would be there, in each room, and you would get great chat around the kettle station, from learning about which van to hire for a gig down south to good old football chat. In a way, I am glad that all the incredible food places weren’t around back then - it was a place unto itself.

Address: Authorpe Works, Authorpe Rd, Leeds LS6 4JB
Bundobust

Along with Belgrave Music Hall and Fish&, Bundobust opened up my eyes to casual dining and interesting food in general. This is one that has helped shape my life. From my first Mackerel Bap on Commercial Street with Fish& to Belgrave Music Hall opening up with two food kitchens and then a pop-up by Bundobust, Belgrave made my food world was complete.

Bundobust then opened on Mill Hill, at a time when there were lots of meat and burger restaurants opening; they were a breath of fresh air. The city was going in a great direction with Friend of Ham, Laynes and Belgrave leading an indie revolution. Bundobust had the clever idea of bringing Leeds colourful pots full of ridiculously tasty Indian street food, and matching these with the best craft beer. Genius.

Address: 6 Mill Hill, Leeds LS1 5DQ
Sarto

My first understanding of a Flat White happened at Laynes, and through shared music chat and general Leeds gossip, I would visit Laynes...let’s say...quite often. The first event I did as Leeds Indie Food, outside of Leeds, was with Laynes at the helm (we took over Latitude Festival’s secret backstage area). Dave, Laynes’ owner, set about opening a new concept based around casual, informal space and handmade pasta; Sarto was born in Autumn 2019 and has taken-off extremely quickly. For me this is a spot that sits exactly half way from my walk home from work. I have eaten a dangerous amount of pasta so far.

Address: Munro House, Duke St, Leeds LS9 8AG
Northern Monk

Northern Monk Brew Co is fast becoming one of the great UK beer institutions. They first started after converting an old flax store in Holbeck into a brewery which had an events space and kitchen. That seems such a lifetime ago, but they were so ahead of the times; both with their experimental beers and being a business with such a creative approach to connecting with their local community. It was really admirable. The refectory is home to one of the best taprooms in the North, with an ever rotating line of fresh beer; it’s the showcase for the brewery (which now has a huge site about a mile down the road).

Address: Marshalls Mill, The Old Flax Store, Marshall St, Leeds LS11 9YJ
Golden Acre Park

Having grown up around the area, I have a few fond memories of this beautiful park area and lake. Part of the Meanwood Valley Trail, this section covers the Breary March and Adel Dam and is well worth a visit. The Cherry Orchard, Wildflower Meadow and the Heather Garden, ducks and various ponds, make it a great family day out.

Address: Otley Road Bramhope, Leeds LS16 8BQ
Canal to Saltaire

We are so lucky in Leeds to host the start of this amazing canal, which stretches from Leeds to Liverpool. Steeped in industrial heritage, the stretch from Leeds to Saltaire is perfect for your hybrid or mountain bike. If you only have a road bike, you may only get as far as Kirkstall, due to the road surface.

You can find a cute little ice-cream shop enroute, or stop at a couple of the nearside pubs -Kirkstall Bridge Inn or Rodley Barge, and nearer Saltaire, The Saltaire Brewery. Plan your journey a little more and you can take in the amazing Kirkstall Abbey, too.

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